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Expert Q&A

Books on Overcoming Adversity

I am looking for novels for a lit circle in a 6th grade class that follow the theme of overcoming adversity.

Waiting for Normal(opens in a new window) comes immediately to mind. This story of 12-year old Addie, who has to overcome an inattentive (to put it kindly) Mom, and her own dyslexia is one of my favorite books of the past year. The book also recently won the Schneider Family book award, for the book that best conveys the disability experience.

Another I thought of is Sharon Flake’s Money Hungry(opens in a new window). This story of 13-year old Raspberry, who hoards money any chance she can, to try and keep her in a house and out of the streets. This is a great story for urban kids, combining a realistic portrayal of urban poverty with an age-appropriate book.

Finally, I suggest Edward Bloor’s Tangerine(opens in a new window). Seventh-grade Paul might be legally blind, but he can “see” things in other people that others are oblivious to. And he’s determined to succeed in his new school.

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